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  • June 25, 2010

AM Inbox: Bright animation idea + sender name tests

The Retail Email Blog monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 top online retailers. Here are highlights from my inbox this morning:

Banana Republic, 6/24 — 25% off plus free shipping! Online only!
I really like the minimalism in this animated gif. They do a lot with a circle, a curved line and a little color. They protect themselves from Outlook 2007 (and 2010) blocking the animation by including all of the promotional copy on the first frame. They also make the copy easy to read by only showing the animation once, so it grabs subscribers’ attention and then allows them to read it without the animation looping.

The other interesting thing in this email is that Banana Republic uses the sender name “Banana Republic Promotions” instead of their usual “BananaRepublic.com.” The Gap Inc. brands certainly have a history of experimenting with sender names so perhaps this is just another in a long line of tests.

Animated portion of June 24, 2010 Banana Republic email

Old Navy, 6/24 — Wholey Moley! Save 30% Off the WHOLE Site‏
And speaking of sender name tests among the Gap Inc. brands, for this email Old Navy uses the sender name “Old Navy Deal Alert.” They normally use “Old Navy,” although in late May they tried “Old Navy Email Exclusive” as the sender name for a couple of emails.

Urban Outfitters, 6/24 — You're the first to know! (Details inside)‏
Since moving to the “UO” logo a while back, Urban Outfitters has periodically experimented with using the space directly to the right of their logo. In this email, they’ve inserted what I would usually call a preheader header message—except that they already have one in this email. So in this email, Urban Outfitters has the subject line, preheader message and this, let’s call it a header message, all working to convey the subject of the email before you even get to the primary message.

Click to view this June 24, 2010 Urban Outfitters email full-sized

Cooking.com, 6/24 — Classic Cookout: Recipes for Easy Baked Beans & BBQ Faves‏
I’m a big proponent of polls in emails, especially when they’re used for progressive profiling. So I was excited to see this “Yum/Yuck” poll in this email. But the experience quickly let me down. First, you have to click through to the landing page to indicate your choice. That really could have been handled in the email itself, saving Cooking.com some drop-off in respondents. And second, when you vote on the landing page, a window pops up with the results, but it’s almost instantly replaced with an ad. So you click through the email, cast your vote, and you don’t even get to see the results. It’s a frustrating experience that’s like to depress the response to future “Yum/Yuck” polls, which deprives Cooking.com of important affinity information that could be used to decide which recipes and products to pitch to individual subscribers.

Click to view this June 24, 2010 Cooking.com email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Sports Authority, 6/24 — Stock Up for the 4th Sale - Save 20% on Thursday & Friday!‏
Coldwater Creek, 6/24 — Save $20...Summer's here! Jackets required. Sleeves optional.
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